THE PUBLIC STAGE WAGON
Most people traveled by horseback in the 1700s, while some endured uncomfortable journeys by public stage. Two big horses normally pulled the stage wagon, but in bad weather four horses were needed. Nine to 12 passengers sat three abreast on backless board seats. The wagon had roll-down curtains in case of rain, but had no springs to soften the ride. Established stage lines advertised their schedules in the newspaper but these schedules were often inconvenient to the passengers. For instance, the stage for Lancaster, Pennsylvania left Philadelphia at three-thirty in the morning and didn’t stop at an inn for breakfast until nine.
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